While the coronavirus pandemic had a clear effect on mobile marketing and app advertising budgets, new research by social media marketing platform Socialbakers found that sponsored content by Instagram influencers also suffered during the first few months of the year.
Fewer brands partnered with influencers during these months as brands refrained from investing in sponsored posts.
The number of Instagram influencers cooperating with brands using #ad dropped 30% during April 2020 compared to the year before.
There was a 37% drop in brands cooperating with influencers during the lockdown months.
Influencer marketing efficiency measured as the ratio between average interactions and posts published by a brand dropped 41% in April 2020 compared to April 2019, marking its lowest point since January 2019.
Health care saw the highest cooperation efficiency on Instagram with influencers posts 4.2x more efficient than brand posts.
Overall, carousel posts which include images and videos on Instagram now outperform images as measured over a two-year time frame.
The report also suggests that smaller brands with less than 10,000 followers are finding influencer marketing more effective than larger brands.
Larger brands benefit from partnering with macro influencers with over one million followers.
Around 40% of brand cooperations were with smaller influencers of up to 15,000 followers in the last 16 months. Micro influencers of less than 10,000 followers saw the next highest share.
“Despite the economic impact of COVID-19, brands are still investing in influencer marketing to reach their target audiences but with a distinctly different approach,” said Yuval Ben-Itzhak, CEO, Socialbakers. “Nano and micro-influencers are now seen as high-value resources, bringing high impact without the big price tag of macro and mega influencers. As budgets remain tight, savvy brands will likely continue to expand partnerships with these smaller influencers as part of a smarter social media strategy in the wake of the continuing worldwide pandemic.”